D2 Outdoor Top 20: Preseason (Women)


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(Unranked)

Was not ranked the week before

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First number indicates the change in a runner's ranking from week priorSecond number indicates where the runner was ranked last week

Now that outdoor season is getting started, it’s time for another edition of The Stride Report's D2 rankings! This time, we are taking a look at the women.


We are looking at last year’s outdoor season and of course this recent indoor campaign, along with the overall body of work to come up with 20 ranked runners. These rankings will change throughout the 2019 outdoor season. There will certainly be new athletes who pop up and showcase their abilities.


Outdoor season is here, so let’s get to it!

20. Andra Lehotay | Walsh (JR)

Lehotay is coming off of a solid indoor season where she finished 5th in the mile at the national meet and led the Walsh DMR team to a 5th place finish. She is now a six-time All-American and will look to add to that this spring as well as improve upon her 6th place finish in the 1500 from last year’s outdoor national meet. Her experience makes her a great candidate for our Top 20 rankings.


19. Olivia Woods | Western Oregon (SR)

Woods has been a staple in the D2 800 group for years now. After being the last one into the finals at this year’s indoor meet, she finished 5th and has now been an All-American at five straight NCAA Championship track meets and has a total of six All-American finishes. During last season’s outdoor campaign, she set PR's in both the 800 and 400 and she will go into this outdoor season looking to build upon her 800 and 4x400 All-American performances from last year. Woods is consistently a factor among the top mid-distance women in the nation.


18. Bailey Sharon | Western Colorado (SO)

Sharon is coming off of a pretty stellar indoor season where she picked up PR's in both the 400 and 800, the latter of which led her to a 4th place finish at the Indoor National Championships. She has already opened up this outdoor season with a provisional time of 2:09.26 which is currently the #2 time in the nation.


17. Chloe Cook | Colorado Mines (SR)

After finishing 4th in the mile at last year’s indoor championship meet, Cook threw down PR's in the 800, 1500, 5k, and 10k during the outdoor season. She made it to NCAA's in the 1500, but failed to make the finals. She came back this indoor season and after having the fastest time out of the prelims, she once again took home a 4th place finish in the mile. Cook is a veteran who will continue to be among the best in the country this year.


16. Eileen Stressling | Azusa Pacific (SR)

The six-time All-American comes into this outdoor season off the strength of a 5th place finish in the 5k, and a 10th place finish in the 3k this past indoor season. Stressling had a very good outdoor season last year, as she ran PR's in the 1500, 5k, and 10k. She ended the season with the 5k/10k double at Nationals where she got her fifth All-American honor by placing 5th in the 10k (I know, it's a lot fives being mentioned). Stressling should once again be a major player in the longer distance events this outdoor season thanks to her consistency and progression.


15. Emily Roberts | U-Mary (SR)

After not competing at all last year due to injuries, the Southern Indiana transfer has had a fantastic comeback year. After finishing 3rd at Nationals during cross country, she rode that momentum into this indoor season with a 4th place finish in the 5k and an 8th place finish in the 3k. Roberts has placed as high as 2nd in the outdoor 10k during her collegiate tenure, and with the roll she is on, she may be able to get back to that level this spring.


14. Allie Ludge | Grand Valley State (JR)

Coming off of a 7th place finish in the 1500 during last year’s outdoor national meet, Ludge returned this past fall with a 5th place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. That was followed up by a stellar indoor season, where she finished 3rd in the mile and 5th in the 3k, along with helping her team to a 3rd place finish in the DMR. Ludge can seemingly do it all and she can do it well. For that reason, she earned the #14 spot in our rankings.


13. Aneta Konieczek | Western Colorado (SO)

We did not see Konieczek this past winter after having a stellar 2018 indoor campaign, but outdoors is here and with that, back to the steeplechase she will go. She finished 4th in that event at the national meet last outdoor season as a freshman. Prior to that, she was 3rd in the indoor 3K and helped DMR win the national title. A season off and another year of training with a two-time national champion could lead to big things this season for this sophomore. Don't be surprised if she's battling the top women in the nation come season end.


12. Carsyn Koch-Johnson | Cedarville (SR)

After not seeing her for about a year and a half, Koch-Johnson reappeared this past indoor season with a 7th place finish in the 800, but we cannot forget what she has done all throughout her collegiate career. She is a four-time national champion, and has the fastest 800 and second fastest 1500 in Division Two history. If she can round back into that form this outdoor season, she will be a contender for yet another title.


11. Danielle McCormick | Alaska Anchorage (SR)

After narrowly making the field for the NCAA meet this past indoor season, McCormick had her best races at the right time, as she easily made the finals and then ran to a 3rd place finish in the 800. She was also a part of the runner-up finish for her Alaska Anchorage DMR team. The 2018 indoor 800 meter national champion will be trying to improve on her 4th place finish from last year’s outdoor season.


10. Roisin Flanagan | Adams State (JR)

Flanagan is coming into this outdoor season on the heels of a great indoor campaign. After running the fastest mile time in the country, she picked up a 2nd place finish in the same event at Nationals, along with a 4th place finish in the 3k and a national title for her DMR. Roisin Flanagan is racing at an incredibly high level right now and will be a serious problem for her competitors come May and June.


9. Kristen Metcalfe | Embry-Riddle (SR)

Metcalfe really burst onto the scene last outdoor season, picking up huge PR's in both the 800 and 1500, and ending the season with a pair of 3rd place finishes in both events at the national meet. This past winter, she looked as good as ever as she ran the #4 fastest mile time in the country and ran the fastest indoor 800 meter time in Division Two history. After qualifying for finals in both the 800 and mile at Nationals, Metcalfe had to scratch from both events due to an injury. If she is healthy this outdoor season, she will be a contender for both titles. However, that uncertainty pushes her to the #9 position in our rankings.


8. Addy Townsend | Simon Fraser (SR)

Townsend came into this indoor season trying to build off of her 2nd place finish in the 1500 last outdoor season. She ran the #2 fastest mile time in the country, along with the #4 fastest 800 time, but when the championship meet came around, she was not on the starting line for either due to illness. If she is healthy and ready to go this outdoor season, she is a real threat to win the 1500.


7. Leah Hanle | Mount Olive (JR)

The first two seasons of Hanle’s junior year have been stellar, opening up the academic year with a 7th place finish at the national meet during cross country. She then had a breakthrough during indoors, picking up PR's in both the mile and the 3K, and ending the season by finishing 3rd in both the 3K and 5K. She has progressed upwards every single year, so after finishing 2nd in the 10K and 3rd in the 5K during last year’s outdoor season, she should have a real shot at being on top this season.

6. Eilish Flanagan | Adams State (JR)

Flanagan has had a fantastic junior year thus far which she started with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. This indoor season, she only lost to one Division Two athlete, Caroline Kurgat, both of which came at the national meet in the 3K and 5K. Last outdoor season, she also claimed a runner-up finish in the steeplechase. She has had a history of running her best races at the most opportune moments, running personal bests in the 3k, 5k, and steeplechase in the previous two track and field championship meets. It's hard to dislike someone who runs their best when it matters the most.


5. Rachael Walters | Grand Valley State (SR)

Walters has been so close to prominence so many times, finishing 2nd in the 800 at four straight NCAA Championship meets. She does, however, have an NCAA title stemming from the 2018 indoor national meet as a part of Grand Valley State’s 4x4 team. Along with finishing 2nd at this year’s Indoor National Championship, she led her 4x4 and DMR teams to a pair of 3rd place finishes, bringing her number of All-American performances up to 12. It would be a great way to end her collegiate career with finally getting that 800 meter title...


4. Stephanie Cotter | Adams State (FR)

This freshman has opened up her collegiate career with a bang. After finishing 11th at Nationals during cross country, Cotter came back this indoor season and won gold in the mile, clocking a PR in the finals to do so. She also led her Adams State DMR to a national title. The young ASU star will be looking to continue her fantastic first year on the outdoor oval.


3. Skylyn Webb | UC Colorado-Springs (SR)

Since transferring to UCCS, Webb has dominated the 800. After earning bronze at the 2018 indoor national meet, Webb would go on to win the national title during outdoors, running the second fastest 800 in Division Two history. She most recently won another title this indoor season. The UCCS senior has already opened up this season with a provisional time of 2:08.17 which is currently the leading time in the country. Webb has gained so much momentum over the past year and there are no signs that she'll be stopping anytime soon.


2. Alicja Konieczek | Western Colorado (SR)

The eight-time national champion is back for her final season. Konieczek has the two fastest steeplechase times in Division Two history and is looking to take home her third straight title in the event. She also finished 2nd in the 5k last year and most recently finished 4th at the 2018 Cross Country National Championships. After a season off, we may see the best version of Konieczek that we ever have.


1. Caroline Kurgat | Alaska Anchorage (SR)

I am not really sure how you could put anybody else here. Dating back to the 2017 cross country season, Kurgat has only lost two races to Division Two athletes. She was a national champion in the 2017 cross country season, is the defending champion in the 5k (defeating Konieczek) and 10k during outdoors, and most recently took home the titles in the 3k and 5k indoors, while also leading her DMR team to a runner-up finish. She will be looking to continue her dominance in her final outdoor season and we have no reason to think otherwise.

800

1. Skylyn Webb (UC Colorado Springs)

2. Rachael Walters (Grand Valley State)

3. Kristen Metcalfe (Embry-Riddle)

4. Danielle McCormick (Alaska Anchorage)

5. Carsyn Koch-Johnson (Cedarville)


1500

1. Stephanie Cotter (Adams State)

2. Addy Townsend (Simon Fraser)

3. Kristen Metcalfe (Embry-Riddle)

4. Roisin Flanagan (Adams State)

5. Allie Ludge (Grand Valley State)


3000 Steeplechase

1. Alijca Konieczek (Western Colorado)

2. Eilish Flanagan (Adams State)

3. Aneta Konieczek (Western Colorado)

4. Hanna Groeber (Grand Valley State)

5. Hannah Wolkenhauer (Queens)


5000

1. Caroline Kurgat (Alaska Anchorage)

2. Alijca Konieczek (Western Colorado)

3. Leah Hanle (Mount Olive)

4. Eilish Flanagan (Adams State)

5. Emily Roberts (U-Mary)


10,000

1. Caroline Kurgat (Alaska Anchorage)

2. Leah Hanle (Mount Olive)

3. Emily Roberts (U-Mary)

4. Eileen Stressling (Azusa Pacific)

5. Sophie Seward (Western Colorado)